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Trevor Aaronson image Trevor Aaronson
Journalist

An investigative journalist who reports on the FBI’s misuse of informants in counterterrorism operations, Trevor Aaronson asks the question: Is the United States catching terrorists or creating them?

Trevor Aaronson is the executive director of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and the author of The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism. In 2014 he reported and produced "Informants," a one-hour documentary for Al Jazeera Media Network about the FBI’s counterterrorism program. In 2015 he published "To Catch the Devil" with Foreign Policy and "The Sting: How the FBI Created a Terrorist" with The Intercept, both about his work on the FBI's counterterrorism methods.

TED Fellows Talks Session 2
Mon Mar 16, 2015
3:00 – 4:30
Marina Abramović image Marina Abramović
Performance artist

In her performances she’s been cut, burned, and nearly shot -- but Marina Abramović's boldest work yet is a gargantuan institute dedicated to transformation through art.

Marina Abramović burst onto the '70s art scene with cathartic performances that tested the limits of spectator participation and personal safety. The Artist Is Present, a Museum of Modern Art performance in which thousands of viewers queued for hours to face Abramović across a table, moved many to tears, and launched Abramović into mainstream celebrity.

Her latest work-in-progress is the MAI (Marina Abramović Institute), a sprawling upstate New York complex devoted to the preservation of durational performance pieces, arts education and the pursuit of heightened consciousness through Abramović’s artistic practices.

Session 1: Opening Gambit
Mon Mar 16, 2015
6:00 – 8:00
Joey Alexander image Joey Alexander
Jazz pianist

Young piano player Joey Alexander has an old soul's gift for jazz.

A native of Bali, Joey Alexander taught himself to play piano by listening to classic jazz albums his father shared with him. Alexander’s father recognized his son’s ear for jazz, and soon he was sitting in on jam sessions with senior musicians. And a (very) few years later, he's playing for worldwide audiences from Jakarta to Copenhagen to Washington, DC.

Influenced by Monk, Coltrane and his mutual fan, Herbie Hancock, Alexander's style is "technically fluent and harmonically astute," says the New York Times, and marked by large-canvas musical ideas -- as seen in a legendary rehearsal-room take on "Giant Steps" in which the shifting chords and dizzy runs fly out from his tiny fingers. His new record, My Favorite Things, was released in 2015.

Session 5: Life Stories
Tues Mar 17, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Dan Ariely image Dan Ariely
Behavioral economist

The dismal science of economics is not as firmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed. In "Predictably Irrational," Dan Ariely told us why.

Dan Ariely is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. He is the author of the bestsellers Predictably IrrationalThe Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty -- as well as the TED Book Payoff: The Hidden Logic that Shapes Our Motivations.

Through his research and his (often amusing and unorthodox) experiments, he questions the forces that influence human behavior and the irrational ways in which we often all behave.

TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Onyx Ashanti image Onyx Ashanti
Beatjazz inventor and controllerist

Onyx Ashanti is the inventor of "beatjazz" -- a new way to make music.

Onyx Ashanti is a musician, geek, open-source advocate, Maker, collaborator ... and we come back around again to musician. The intrumentation he has created fuses technique and technology into a full-body musical system, playable with hands, arms, mouth and body. As he says:

I am what can only be described as a cyborg musician.  in other words, the music i create live, can not be replicated without technology. My music is called "Beatjazz." It is a mix of sound design, live looping and jazz improvisation. My instrument of choice over the years has been a Yamaha Wind MIDI controller, but now the limitations have started to stunt the growth of this new form, so i designed an instrument that can take it into future.

He is now working on the next iteration of his instrument, codenamed Tron, and built around a helmet-mounted controller.

TEDYou
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
8:15 – 9:45
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Stacey Baker image Stacey Baker
Photo editor

Stacey Baker assigns photography for the wide-ranging vision of the weekly New York Times Magazine.

Stacey Baker is a photo editor at The New York Times Magazine. She assigns and produces photography for the weekly publication on topics as varied as sports, politics, religion and pop culture. She works with an array of photographers from all over the world, including photojournalists and portrait, fine-art and conceptual photographers. These include Alec Soth, Damon Winter, Lars Tunbjork, Stephanie Sinclair, Nadav Kander and Katy Grannan. She is a former director of photography at More Magazine.
Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Seth Berkley image Seth Berkley
Vaccine visionary

Epidemiologist Seth Berkley is leading the charge to make sure vaccines are available to everyone, including those living in the developing world.

Seth Berkley is an epidemiologist and the CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the global health organization protecting lives by improving access to vaccines in developing countries. Seth joined Gavi in 2011 in a period of rapid acceleration of Gavi’s programs. Now, with more than half a billion children immunized, he is leading Gavi’s efforts to reach a further 300 million children in the next five years and build sustainability into country immunization programs. Prior to Gavi, he spearheaded the development of vaccines for HIV as founder and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.

TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Chuck Berry image Chuck Berry
Aerial videographer

Chuck Berry skydives, BASE jumps, wingsuits, hang-glides -- basically any way to get up into the sky, he'll do it, and film it

Chuck Berry is a passionate filmmaker and a very frequent flyer. He estimates he's done 6,500 skydives since he started in 1984; Red Bull calls him "our longest serving professional athlete." He's wingsuit-jumped over Yokohama Harbor, he is a past Speed Hang Gliding Champion of New Zealand, and he did something called "underground BASE jumping" in China that almost does not bear contemplating.

He helps design, engineer and execute aerial stunts and shows for TV and film productions and many commercials, and is a past master at filming and communicating the sheer joy of being up in the air

Session 6: Radical Reframe
Wed Mar 18, 2015
8:30 – 10:15
Benedetta Berti image Benedetta Berti
International policy analyst

Benedetta Berti aims to understand when and why armed groups get involved in politics — and the implications this has for governments.

Benedetta Berti is an expert on political violence, civil war and security — especially in the Middle East. She has spent a decade researching non-state armed groups — from terrorists to insurgents to militias — and works with governments and NGOs to offer new approaches for conflict resolution. In her book, Armed Political Organizations: From Conflict to Integration, Berti looks at Hezbollah, Hamas, the Irish Republican Army and other groups that have their roots in insurgency but moved into the political sphere. She offers surprising answers on why this happens and what it means. 

Berti’s current projects include leading an effort to design new parameters for Israeli-Palestinian peace, and conducting a policy study on how to effectively deliver humanitarian aid to cut-off areas in Syria and Iraq. She recently completed a study on Gaza’s security infrastructure. And her writing has appeared in Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs.

TED Fellows Talks Session 1
Mon Mar 16, 2015
12:30 – 2:15
Aloe Blacc image Aloe Blacc
Musician

Aloe Blacc is a musician who blends folk and soul to create songs that lift the spirit.

Aloe Blacc is a singer and songwriter who moves across genres, creating an effortless blend of folk and soul inspired by a tradition of hip-hop. Through hits like “I Need a Dollar,” “The Man” and “Wake Me Up,” Blacc makes music with an optimistic message. Despite his sometimes sobering lyrics about homelessness, inequality and unemployment, Blacc creates “relentlessly feel-good” music that leaves the listener feeling that the power of human emotion will ultimately prevail. His third solo album is aptly named Lift Your Spirit.

Blacc is an active member of the nonprofit Malaria No more and a champion of songwriters’ rights.

Session 12: Endgame
Fri Mar 20, 2015
9:30 – 12:00
Nick Bostrom image Nick Bostrom
Philosopher

Nick Bostrom asks big questions: What should we do, as individuals and as a species, to optimize our long-term prospects? Will humanity’s technological advancements ultimately destroy us?

Philosopher Nick Bostrom envisioned a future full of human enhancement, nanotechnology and machine intelligence long before they became mainstream concerns. From his famous simulation argument -- which identified some striking implications of rejecting the Matrix-like idea that humans are living in a computer simulation -- to his work on existential risk, Bostrom approaches both the inevitable and the speculative using the tools of philosophy, probability theory, and scientific analysis.

Since 2005, Bostrom has led the Future of Humanity Institute, a research group of mathematicians, philosophers and scientists at Oxford University tasked with investigating the big picture for the human condition and its future. He has been referred to as one of the most important thinkers of our age.

Nick was honored as one of Foreign Policy's 2015 Global Thinkers .

His recent book Superintelligence advances the ominous idea that “the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.”

Session 3: Machines That Learn
Tues Mar 17, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
Camille A. Brown image Camille A. Brown
Choreographer and educator

Camille A. Brown leads her dance company through excavations of ancestral stories, both timeless and traditional, that connect history with contemporary culture.

Camille A. Brown is a prolific choreographer, making a personal claim on history through the lens of a modern black female perspective.

The artistic director of Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Brown is a four-time Princess Grace Award winner, 2016 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award recipient, 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, 2015 USA Jay Franke & David Herro Fellow, 2015 TED Fellow and 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award recipient. Her company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, received a 2014 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production for the work Mr. TOL E. RAncE (2012) and recently received a 2016 Bessie Nomination for Outstanding Production of her work, BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play (2015).

Brown's work has been commissioned by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco!, Complexions and Urban Bush Women, among others. Her theater credits as Choreographer include Broadway's A Streetcar Named Desire, Fortress of Solitude (Lucille Lortel Nomination), Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, Cabin in the Sky for New York City Center Encores!, Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM! starring Lin Manuel Miranda, and BELLA: An American Tall Tale, among others.

Brown is the founder of two initiatives, The Gathering and BLACK GIRL SPECTRUM (BGS). As a teacher, she seeks to amplify cultural and creative empowerment through dance, dialogue, and popular education tools.

TED Fellows Talks Session 2
Mon Mar 16, 2015
3:00 – 4:30
Jeffrey Brown image Jeffrey Brown
Pastor

A key player in the "Boston miracle" that lowered the rate of youth crime and gang violence, Rev. Jeffrey Brown is a Baptist minister.

Rev. Jeffrey Brown is the president of RECAP (Rebuilding Every Community Around Peace), a national organization that helps cities build partnerships between the faith-based community, government and law enforcement agencies to reduce gang violence. He is one of the co-founders of the Boston Ten Point Coalition, a faith-based group that was an integral part of the “Boston miracle,” a process through which the city experienced a 79% decline in violent crime in the '90s, and spawned countless urban collaborative efforts in subsequent years that followed the Boston Ceasefire model. He served as its Executive Director from 2005 to 2013.

Rev. Brown consults to municipalities and police departments nationwide on issues around youth violence and community mobilization. His current project is to convene a second national conference of faith leaders and law enforcement, and facilitate a national conversation on the importance of faith institutions in public safety.
Session 9: Just and Unjust
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
10:30 – 12:30
Chris Burkard image Chris Burkard
Surf photographer

Chris Burkard travels to remote, risky and often icy locations to capture stunning images that turn traditional surf photography on its head.

For most people, surfing evokes sunny sand and warm, blue water in tropical locales. In his book Distant Shores, self-taught photographer Chris Burkard detours to the coastlines of Norway, Iceland and Alaska, shooting surfers as they ride waves on icy beaches that have rarely been photographed -- let alone surfed.

Traveling to often dangerous extremes to discover unknown landscapes, Burkard composes images that transcend the simple action shots of action photography, placing nature at the center of his compositions.

Session 11: Passion and Consequence
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
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Nathalie Cabrol image Nathalie Cabrol
Planetary explorer

To determine how life might persist on Mars, Nathalie Cabrol explores one of Earth’s most extreme environments: high-elevation Andean lakes and deserts.

While hunting for life in the fragile biomes of the Andes, Nathalie Cabrol has braved earthquakes, set a diving record and gathered data on the threats faced by mountain ecosystems in the face of climate change.

But Cabrol’s eyes are always fixed on Mars, which may have once had a climate similar to Earth’s mountain deserts. As a science team member for NASA, Cabrol helps design interplanetary experiments for the Martian Spirit rover, and researches new technologies for future missions to Mars and beyond.

Session 4: Out of This World
Tues Mar 17, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Hussein Chalayan image Hussein Chalayan
Fashion designer

Hussein Chalayan melds technology, politics and architectural forms in runway shows that blur the line between art and fashion.

Designer Hussein Chalayan dazzles the fashion world with clothes drawing on experimental design from across disciplines, including LED-illuminated fabrics and a “remote control dress” with rising and falling flaps. Hussein’s designs aren’t just theoretical: his highly-anticipated ready-to-wear collections dominate the fashion press each season.

His shows are dramatic events incorporating Chalayan’s multidisciplinary artistic interests -- he’s also a filmmaker, and represented Turkey in the 2005 Venice Biennale.

Session 11: Passion and Consequence
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Minna Choi image Minna Choi
Music director, Magik*Magik Orchestra

Minna Choi is the founder and music director of Magik*Magik Orchestra, a made-to-order orchestra for artists and creatives, the size of which has ranged from a single violinist to a 80-piece symphony and choir.

With her Magik*Magik Orchestra, Minna Choi worked with artists such as Death Cab for Cutie, Weezer, How to Dress Well, Son Lux, The Dodos, John Vanderslice, Christina Vantzou, Thao, and numerous others composing music arrangements together. She's conducted film scores including LOOPER and Kill the Messenger. She's also the choir director for City Church SF.

Since its 2008 debut, Magik*Magik Orchestra has worked with over 150 artists and arts institutions on hundreds of collaborative records, concerts, dance performances, education projects and special events. To date M*MO has proudly earned and distributed half a million dollars to freelance orchestral musicians. The TED2015 iteration of Magik*Magik features Phil Brezina, Liana Berube, Michelle Kwon and Minna Choi.

Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Valerie Conn image Valerie Conn
Sentinel

Science maven Valerie Conn has focused her career on building the partnerships and raising the funds to help scientists explore the world.

Big science projects -- space missions, giant telescopes -- have require big funds and big, healthy partnerships. Valerie Conn helps build those partnerships and raise those funds, so scientists in turn can take big leaps forward.

Conn spent the past decade as the University of Chicago’s champion for the Giant Magellan Telescope. Now she is the vice president of strategy for B612 Foundation’s Sentinel Mission, which will discover, map and track asteroids that are on a trajectory to impact Earth. She is building an international community of scientists and citizens to solve this asteroid problem.

TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Laurie Coots image Laurie Coots
Health advocate

As CMO of Chiat/Day and TBWA\Worldwide ad agency, Laurie Coots worked on brands such as Apple and Visa. Now she's working on helping us get healthiert.

After winning a four-year battle with obesity, high blood pressure and Type II diabetes, Laurie Coots is a vocal advocate for personal accountability and self-directed health. The app Show Me the Sugar, launched by her company Lucidity Solutions, helps people identify the hidden sugar in everyday food, like salad dressing and soup. She defines herself as a free agent of disruption, following a 29-year career leading -- as CMO -- the growth of the Chiat/Day and TBWA\Worldwide ad agency, working on brands such as Apple and Visa. She's currently learning to code and to use power tools.
TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
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Tal Danino image Tal Danino
Synthetic biologist

Tal Danino explores the emerging frontier of combining biology and engineering (and art). He is a 2015 TED Fellow.

Tal Danino's research explores the emerging frontier of combining biology, engineering and medicine. His work as a synthetic biologist focuses on reprogramming bacteria to detect and treat diseases in our bodies such as cancer.

Originally from Los Angeles, Danino received B.S. degrees from UCLA in Physics, Chemistry and Math, and received his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from UCSD. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is currently an assistant professor at Columbia University in New York.

Danino's work has been published in scientific journals and highlighted in several popular press venues. He actively develops "Bio-Art" projects that share perspectives and stories about science with recent projects featured in the New York Times, WIRED, and the Wall Street Journal.

TED Fellows Talks Session 1
Mon Mar 16, 2015
12:30 – 2:15
Lewis Dartnell image Lewis Dartnell
Author, astrobiologist

When he’s not pondering how humans could rebuild civilization after a global catastrophe, Lewis Dartnell hunts for microbial life on Earth’s neighboring planets.

Research fellow and author Lewis Dartnell writes and presents about science for outlets ranging from The New York Times and The Guardian to the Discovery Channel. In his third book he explores how to reboot civilisation after a global catastrophe. The Knowledge is a thought experiment on the behind-the-scenes fundamentals of how our world works, and how civilisation developed over the centuries.

Dartnell is also an astrobiologist at the University of Leicester, pondering the conditions on Mars and what 'biosignatures' of life might be discovered by the European Space Agency’s 2018 ExoMars probe.
Session 10: Building From Scratch
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Abe Davis image Abe Davis
Computer scientist

Computer vision expert Abe Davis pioneers methods to extract audio from silent digital videos, even footage shot on ordinary consumer cameras.

MIT PhD student, computer vision wizard and rap artist Abe Davis has co-created the world’s most improbable audio instrument.  In 2014, Davis and his collaborators debuted the “visual microphone,” an algorithm that samples the sympathetic vibrations of ordinary objects (such as a potato chip bag) from ordinary high-speed video footage and transduces them into intelligible audio tracks.

Davis is also the author of Caperture, a 3D-imaging app designed to create and share 3D images on any compatible smartphone.

Session 1: Opening Gambit
Mon Mar 16, 2015
6:00 – 8:00
Joseph DeSimone image Joseph DeSimone
Chemist, inventor

The CEO of Carbon3D, Joseph DeSimone has made breakthrough contributions to the field of 3D printing.

Joseph DeSimone is a scholar, inventor and serial entrepreneur. A longtime professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, he's taken leave to become the CEO at Carbon3D, the Silicon Valley 3D printing company he co-founded in 2013. DeSimone, an innovative polymer chemist, has made breakthrough contributions in fluoropolymer synthesis, colloid science, nano-biomaterials, green chemistry and most recently 3D printing. His company's Continuous Liquid Interface Production (CLIP) suggests a breakthrough way to make 3D parts.

Read the paper in Science. Authors: John R. Tumbleston, David Shirvanyants, , Nikita Ermoshkin, Rima Janusziewicz, Ashley R. Johnson, David Kelly, Kai Chen, Robert Pinschmidt, Jason P. Rolland, Alexander Ermoshkin, Edward T. Samulsk.

DeSimone is one of less than twenty individuals who have been elected to all three branches of the National Academies: Institute of Medicine (2014), National Academy of Sciences (2012) and the National Academy of Engineering (2005), and in 2008 he won the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation. He's the co-founder of several companies, including Micell Technologies, Bioabsorbable Vascular Solutions, Liquidia Technologies and Carbon3D.

Session 1: Opening Gambit
Mon Mar 16, 2015
6:00 – 8:00
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David Eagleman image David Eagleman
Neuroscientist

David Eagleman decodes the mysteries of the tangled web of neurons and electricity that make our minds tick -- and also make us human.

As the creator of stacks of compelling research, books and now the 6-part PBS series The Brain, grey matter expert David Eagleman is our most visible evangelist for neuroscience. He has helmed ground-breaking studies on time perception, brain plasticity and neurolaw. His latest research explores technology that bypasses sensory impairment -- such as a smartphone-controlled vest that translates sound into patterns of vibration for the deaf.

Eagleman is also the author of Sum, an internationally bestselling short story collection speculating on life, death and what it means to be human. Translated into 28 languages, Sum has been turned into two separate operas at the Sydney Opera House and the Royal Opera House in London.

Session 2: What Are We Thinking?
Tues Mar 17, 2015
8:30 – 10:15
Alan Eustace image Alan Eustace
Stratospheric explorer

Alan Eustace leapt to Earth from the edge of the stratosphere wearing only a spacesuit, shattering skydiving records and potentially revolutionizing the commercial space industry.

Two years after Felix Baumgartner jumped from a capsule in the stratosphere for Red Bull, a quiet group led by now-retired Google exec Alan Eustace beat the height record -- without a capsule. (Neither livestreamed nor promoted, the jump record was announced the next day.) In a custom 500-pound spacesuit, Eustace was strapped to a weather balloon, and rose to a height of over 135,000 feet, where he dove to Earth at speeds exceeding 821 mph -- breaking both the sound barrier and previous records for high-altitude jumps.

Leading up to this jump, Eustace and his partners in StratEx had spent years solving a key problem of stratosphere exploration: returning human beings to Earth from the edge of space using minimal life-support systems. In the process, they’ve opened the door to cheaper and safer near-space travel.

Session 4: Out of This World
Tues Mar 17, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
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Tony Fadell image Tony Fadell
Product creator

As the originator of the iPod, Tony Fadell is no stranger to disruptive technology. With Nest, he’s zeroed in on tech’s most elusive targets: household appliances.

Tony Fadell became a tech superstar as a colleague of Steve Jobs and developer of the iPod, which rejuvenated Apple, rebooted entire industries and changed the way the world consumes entertainment.

After leaving Apple, Fadell founded Nest on a familiar experience -- frustration with household technology, still resolutely frozen in the 20th century. With its first products, Nest has brought the modern household one step closer to becoming a truly connected “smarthome.” In January 2014, Nest became Google’s second-biggest acquisition to date, positioning both companies to become revolutionary players in home technology.

Session 7: Creative Ignition
Wed Mar 18, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
Negin Farsad image Negin Farsad
Comedian, filmmaker

Stand-up comedian Negin Farsad counters Islamophobia in funny and clever ways.

Negin Farsad was named one of the Funniest Women of 2015 by Huffington Post, one of the 10 Best Feminist Comedians by Paper magazine and was selected as a TED Fellow for her work in social justice comedy.

Farsad is the author of the recently released How to Make White People Laugh, a memoir-meets-social-justice-comedy manifesto (published by Grand Central, a division of Hachette). She is also the director/writer/star of the rom-com "3RD Street Blackout," starring Janeane Garofalo, Ed Weeks and John Hodgman, set for a summer 2016 release. She has written for/appeared on Comedy Central, MTV, PBS, IFC, Nickelodeon and others. She is director/producer of the feature films The Muslims Are Coming! starring Jon Stewart, David Cross and Lewis Black, and Nerdcore Rising, starring Weird Al Yankovic. She has sued New York State’s MTA over the right to put up funny posters about Muslims and won! She started her comedy career as a Cornell and Columbia-educated policy advisor for the City of New York. 

TED Fellows Talks Session 2
Mon Mar 16, 2015
3:00 – 4:30
Negin Farsad image Negin Farsad
Comedian, filmmaker

Stand-up comedian Negin Farsad counters Islamophobia in funny and clever ways.

Negin Farsad was named one of the Funniest Women of 2015 by Huffington Post, one of the 10 Best Feminist Comedians by Paper magazine and was selected as a TED Fellow for her work in social justice comedy.

Farsad is the author of the recently released How to Make White People Laugh, a memoir-meets-social-justice-comedy manifesto (published by Grand Central, a division of Hachette). She is also the director/writer/star of the rom-com "3RD Street Blackout," starring Janeane Garofalo, Ed Weeks and John Hodgman, set for a summer 2016 release. She has written for/appeared on Comedy Central, MTV, PBS, IFC, Nickelodeon and others. She is director/producer of the feature films The Muslims Are Coming! starring Jon Stewart, David Cross and Lewis Black, and Nerdcore Rising, starring Weird Al Yankovic. She has sued New York State’s MTA over the right to put up funny posters about Muslims and won! She started her comedy career as a Cornell and Columbia-educated policy advisor for the City of New York. 

TED Fellows Talks Session 2
Mon Mar 16, 2015
3:00 – 4:30
LaToya Ruby Frazier image LaToya Ruby Frazier
Photographer

LaToya Ruby Frazier focuses her camera lens on her family and her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania, to explore themes of family, inequality, health care and environmental racism.

TED Fellow LaToya Ruby Frazier uses photography, video and performance to address issues of industrialism, rustbelt revitalization, environmental justice, healthcare inequality, family and communal history. Some of her work, which features images of her mother and grandmother (Grandma Ruby) was published in her first book, The Notion of Family, which received the International Center for Photography Infinity Award.

She has exhibited her work widely in the United States and elsewhere, with solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, Seattle Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. She is an assistant professor of photography at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, having previously taught at Yale, Rutgers and Syracuse University.

LaToya received her BFA in applied media arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and her MFA in art photography from Syracuse University. She was the Guna S. Mundheim Fellow for visual arts at the American Academy in Berlin in 2013 and won a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2014. She is also a 2015 MacArthur Fellow.

TED Fellows Talks Session 2
Mon Mar 16, 2015
3:00 – 4:30
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Greg Gage image Greg Gage
Neuroscientist

TED Fellow Greg Gage helps kids investigate the neuroscience in their own backyards.

As half of Backyard Brains, neuroscientist and engineer Greg Gage builds the SpikerBox -- a small rig that helps kids understand the electrical impulses that control the nervous system. He's passionate about helping students understand (viscerally) how our brains and our neurons work, because, as he said onstage at TED2012, we still know very little about how the brain works -- and we need to start inspiring kids early to want to know more.

Before becoming a neuroscientist, Gage worked as an electrical engineer making touchscreens. As he told the Huffington Post: "Scientific equipment in general is pretty expensive, but it's silly because before [getting my PhD in neuroscience] I was an electrical engineer, and you could see that you could make it yourself. So we started as a way to have fun, to show off to our colleagues, but we were also going into classrooms around that time and we thought, wouldn't it be cool if you could bring these gadgets with us so the stuff we were doing in advanced Ph.D. programs in neuroscience, you could also do in fifth grade?" His latest pieces of gear: the Roboroach, a cockroach fitted with an electric backpack that makes it turn on command, and BYB SmartScope, a smartphone-powered microscope.

TED Fellows Talks Session 1
Mon Mar 16, 2015
12:30 – 2:15
Bill Gates image Bill Gates
Philanthropist

A passionate techie and a shrewd businessman, Bill Gates changed the world while leading Microsoft to dizzying success. Now he's doing it again with his own style of philanthropy and passion for innovation.

Bill Gates is the founder and former CEO of Microsoft. A geek icon, tech visionary and business trailblazer, Gates' leadership -- fueled by his long-held dream that millions might realize their potential through great software -- made Microsoft a personal computing powerhouse and a trendsetter in the Internet dawn. Whether you're a suit, chef, quant, artist, media maven, nurse or gamer, you've probably used a Microsoft product today.

In summer of 2008, Gates left his day-to-day role with Microsoft to focus on philanthropy. Holding that all lives have equal value (no matter where they're being lived), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has now donated staggering sums to HIV/AIDS programs, libraries, agriculture research and disaster relief -- and offered vital guidance and creative funding to programs in global health and education. Gates believes his tech-centric strategy for giving will prove the killer app of planet Earth's next big upgrade.

Read a collection of Bill and Melinda Gates' annual letters, where they take stock of the Gates Foundation and the world. And follow his ongoing thinking on his personal website, The Gates Notes. His new paper, "The Next Epidemic," is published by the New England Journal of Medicine.

TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Theaster Gates image Theaster Gates
Artist, potter, community builder

Theaster Gates is a potter whose ambitions stretch far beyond the wheel and the kiln. In Chicago, his leadership of artist-led spaces has catalyzed interest and excitement in a formerly neglected neighborhood, as he uses culture as a transformational weapon.

Theaster Gates is helping to define the future of artistic place-based efforts, in research and practice. Beginning with interventions in small-scale residences now known as Dorchester Projects, Gates’ houses in Greater Grand Crossing in Chicago have become a nexus for globally engaged experiments in structures of individual and collective living, working and art-making. Launched into the international art world at Documenta(13), the houses embodied a new system of values and celebrated both a flexible use of space and provided a way for artists, visitors and students to connect and collaborate.

The latest example of this kind of work is the Stony Island Arts Bank, set to open for the Chicago Architecture Biennial in October 2015. Gates will convert a formerly derelict bank on Chicago's south side to create an artwork -- and a communal and creative space.

At the University of Chicago, where he is a professor and the director of arts and public life, Gates leads the Arts Incubator in Washington Park. Gates also leads an urban research initiative known as the Place Lab, a team of social scientists, architects, creative professionals and business leaders. With support from the Knight Foundation, Gates and his team will create frameworks for reimagining the role that culture plays in the redevelopment of transforming African American communities.

Session 7: Creative Ignition
Wed Mar 18, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
Anand Giridharadas image Anand Giridharadas
Writer

Anand Giridharadas writes about people and cultures caught amid the great forces of our time.

Anand Giridharadas is a writer. He is a New York Times columnist, writing the biweekly "Letter from America." He is the author, most recently, of The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas, about a Muslim immigrant’s campaign to spare from Death Row the white supremacist who tried to kill him. In 2011 he published India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking, about returning to the India his parents left.

Giridharadas's datelines include ItalyIndiaChinaDubaiNorway, Japan, HaitiBrazilColombiaNigeriaUruguay and the United States. He is an on-air contributor for NBC News and appears regularly on "Morning Joe." He has given talks on the main stage of TED and at Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, Princeton, the University of Michigan, the Aspen Institute, Summit at Sea, the Sydney Opera House, the United Nations, the Asia Society, PopTech and Google. He is a Henry Crown fellow  of the Aspen Institute. 

Giridharadas lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Priya Parker, and their son, Orion.

Session 5: Life Stories
Tues Mar 17, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Renny Gleeson image Renny Gleeson
Skeptimist

Renny Gleeson helps navigate brands through fresh concepts, such as viral marketing and social media, to find the pulse of the modern consumer.

Renny Gleeson is a skeptical/optimist. He leads interactive strategy for ad agency Wieden+Kennedy who started his career as a game developer. He has been wondering what we can learn about ourselves through the millions of deaths taking place inside video games. He serves on the board of directors of Rhizome.org and is the co-founder of the PIE tech accelerator in Portland, Oregon. A mentor for tech accelerators and startups worldwide, he believes stories -- from cave paintings to interfaces to video games -- shape worlds.

TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Alice Goffman image Alice Goffman
Urban sociologist

Alice Goffman’s fieldwork in a struggling Philadelphia neighborhood sheds harsh light on a justice system that creates suspects rather than citizens.

As an undergraduate studying sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, Alice Goffman was inspired to write her senior thesis about the lives of the young people living in the historic African-American neighborhood that surrounded the school. She lived side-by-side with a group of young men in one of the US’s most distressed communities, experiencing a troubling and rarely discussed side of urban policing -- the beatings, late night raids and body searches that systematically pit young men against authority.

Goffman spent six years in the community, the work transforming into her dissertation at Princeton and then into the book, On the Run. In it, Goffman weaves groundbreaking research into a narrative amplifying neglected and often-ignored voices into a stirring, personal indictment of the social, economic and political forces that unwittingly conspire to push entire communities to the margins of society.

Goffman is now an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a vocal advocate for change in America.

Session 9: Just and Unjust
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
10:30 – 12:30
Dana Goodyear image Dana Goodyear
Journalist and poet

Based in LA, Dana Goodyear writes for the New Yorker about food, culture, technology and ecology.

Dana Goodyear has been on staff at the New Yorker since 1999, where she has written about the archaeology of the Donner Party, the director James Cameron, a therapist who treats writer's block in Hollywood, and eating bugs. Her first book of nonfiction is Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture.

Goodyear teaches at USC and is the co-founder of Figment, an online literary community for people who love young-adult fiction. She is also the author of two collections of poetry, Honey and Junk and The Oracle of Hollywood Boulevard.

Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Sam Green image Sam Green
Documentary filmmaker

Sam Green is a documentary filmmaker whose many movies include, most recently, "The Measure of All Things" and "The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller," a live cinematic collaboration with the indie rock band Yo La Tengo.

Sam Green's 2014 "live documentary," The Measure of All Things, meditates on record holders of all kinds. When it's screened (as it was at Sundance in 2014), it comes complete with in-person narration and a live soundtrack. The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, his 2012 doc, was a live cinematic collaboration with the indie rock band Yo La Tengo.

Green’s 2004 feature-length film, the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Weather Underground, tells the story of a group of radical young women and men who tried to violently overthrow the United States government during the late 1960s and 70s. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was broadcast on PBS, included in the Whitney Biennial, and has screened widely around the world.

Green’s previous long documentary, The Rainbow Man/John 3:16, follows the bizarre rise and fall of a man who became famous during the 1970s by appearing at thousands of televised sporting events wearing a rainbow wig. The film premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival.

Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Bill Gross image Bill Gross
Idea guy

Bill Gross founded Idealab, an incubator of new inventions, ideas and businesses.

Bill Gross is the founder of Idealab, a business incubator focused on new ideas. (He's now the chair and CEO.) He helped create GoTo.com, the first sponsored search company. He also created the Snap! search engine, which allows users to preview hyperlinks. 

Gross has been an entrepreneur since high school, when he founded a solar energy company. In college, he patented a new loudspeaker design, and after school he started a company that was later acquired by Lotus, and then launched an educational software publishing company. Now, he serves on the boards of companies in the areas of automation, software and renewable energy.

TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
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Bruce Haden image Bruce Haden
Architect

Bruce Haden believes that human engagement is a central objective of design.

Bruce Haden was until recently a principal at Dialog, one of Canada’s largest integrated design practices, including architecture, engineering, interior design and planning. His work ranges from small-scale community buildings to large urban design projects. Since 2013 he has been leading a TED Challenge on increasing the quality and frequency of social interaction in the public realm. He lives in a townhouse complex that he designed as a social and environmental experiment, a few blocks away from the TED2015 venue.
TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Elora Hardy image Elora Hardy
Sustainable designer

Cultivating the power of sustainable materials, Elora Hardy leads ​​Ibuku, creating​ ​​bespoke​ ​bamboo homes in her native Bali.

Growing up in Bali with two artist parents, Elora Hardy’s creativity led her to design prints for one of New York's biggest fashion houses. Then, in a dramatic shift, she moved back home and founded Ibuku, a team that builds bespoke homes made and furnished almost entirely of bamboo. 

The strength of this abundant local grass allows for towering, curvilinear structures with a notable sense of luminosity and comfort. Ibuku builds on a design process and an engineering system that were first established at the nearby Green School. Five years ago, Elora and her team chose one humble material, and with it they are building a whole new world.

Session 7: Creative Ignition
Wed Mar 18, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
Gary Haugen image Gary Haugen
Human rights attorney

As founder of International Justice Mission, Gary Haugen fights the chronically neglected global epidemic of violence against the poor.

While a member of the 1994 United Nations team investigating war crimes in Rwanda, Gary Haugen’s eyes were opened to the appalling extent of violence in the developing world. Upon his return to the US, he founded International Justice Mission, an organization devoted to rescuing victims of global violence including trafficking and slavery.

In The Locust Effect, Haugen outlines the catastrophic effect of everyday violence on the lives of the impoverished, and shows how rampant violence is undermining efforts to alleviate poverty.

Session 9: Just and Unjust
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
10:30 – 12:30
Donald Hoffman image Donald Hoffman
Cognitive scientist

Donald Hoffman studies how our visual perception, guided by millions of years of natural selection, authors every aspect of our everyday reality.

In his research to uncover the underlying secrets of human perception, Donald Hoffman has discovered important clues pointing to the subjective nature of reality.

Rather than as a set of absolute physical principles, reality is best understood as a set of phenomena our brain constructs to guide our behavior. To put it simply: we actively create everything we see, and there is no aspect of reality that does not depend on consciousness.

Hoffman is a faculty member at UC Irvine and a recipient of the Troland Award of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Session 2: What Are We Thinking?
Tues Mar 17, 2015
8:30 – 10:15
I
Nizar Ibrahim image Nizar Ibrahim
Paleontologist

Nizar Ibrahim scours Northern Africa for clues to what things were like there in the Cretaceous period. A 2015 TED Fellow, he has spearheaded the recent search for the semi-aquatic dinosaur Spinosaurus.

Paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim, a postdoc at the University of Chicago, wanted to uncover the mystery of the Spinosaurus, a gigantic predatory dinosaur whose only known remains were lost during World War II. After identifying a new skeleton at a dig in North Africa, Ibrahim made the landmark conclusion that the Spinosaurus may have been the largest carnivorous dinosaur to ever live. Its crocodile-like head, dense bones, short legs, and wide, paddle feet suggest it was a water dweller unlike any other. “The entire skeleton has water-loving river monster written all over it,” he says.

Ibrahim is a TED Fellow and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer.

TED Fellows Talks Session 1
Mon Mar 16, 2015
12:30 – 2:15
Dave Isay image Dave Isay
Story collector

Over thousands of archived and broadcast interviews, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay -- winner of the 2015 TED Prize -- has created an unprecedented document of the dreams and fears that touch us all.

From the first interview he recorded, 2015 TED Prize winner and MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay knew he’d found his calling: preserving the stories of everyday Americans. Since then, Isay has amassed hundreds of thousands of recordings, most of previously unheard or ignored voices, all speaking in their own words. The archives of StoryCorps -- which Isay founded in 2003 -- are included at the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center, and now constitute the largest single collection of recorded voices in history.

StoryCorps invites friends, loved ones and strangers to conduct 40-minute interviews at intimate recording booths in Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, and (until 2011) New York, as well as in mobile studios nationwide. Offering moving and surprising glimpses into the hearts of often marginalized and forgotten subjects, the interviews are a familiar feature of NPR’s Morning Edition and Storycorps.org.

At TED2015, Isay shared an audacious wish for StoryCorps: to open up the format from its signature booths with a StoryCorps app that allows anyone to add to this "digital archive of the collective wisdom of humanity." The vision: to broaden this idea, and begin to take it global.

 

Session 5: Life Stories
Tues Mar 17, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Jedidah Isler image Jedidah Isler
Astrophysicist

Jedidah Isler studies blazars — supermassive hyperactive black holes that emit powerful jet streams. They are the universe’s most efficient particle accelerators, transferring energy throughout galaxies.

Jedidah Isler has been staring at the stars since she was 11 or 12. But because neither her undergraduate college or the university where she got her first master’s degree offered astronomy majors, she threw herself wholeheartedly into physics. It wasn’t until she entered a doctoral program that she was able to dedicate her time to the studying the night sky. In 2014, she became the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D in Astrophysics from Yale.

Isler studies blazars — supermassive hyperactive black holes at the center of galaxies, some of which emit powerful streams of particles. Sometimes these are oriented toward Earth, offering us a unique perspective on the physics of the universe. Isler is a Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow in Physics at Syracuse University. She participates in the Future Faculty Leader program at Harvard's Center for Astrophysics and was named a 2015 TED Fellow.

Isler is also interested in breaking down barriers that prevent many students — especially women of color — from becoming scienists. She works to make STEM accessible to new communities. 

TED Fellows Talks Session 1
Mon Mar 16, 2015
12:30 – 2:15
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Fred Jansen image Fred Jansen
Space explorer

As manager of the Rosetta mission, Fred Jansen is in charge of the project that could be instrumental in uncovering clues to the origins of life on Earth.

Fred Jansen manages the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, which guided a probe into orbit around a comet and dispatched a lander to its surface -- both firsts in space exploration. Although the lander Philae could not accomplish its full mission before going into hibernation, the data it’s already gathered will immeasurably multiply our knowledge of comets and their contributions to the ingredients of life on Earth.

In addition to his work with the Rosetta Mission, Jansen oversees the ESA’s XMM-Newton, an orbiting x-ray space observatory delving into the most elusive secrets of the universe, including black holes and dark matter.

Session 4: Out of This World
Tues Mar 17, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Bill T. Jones image Bill T. Jones
Director/choreographer, dancer

With his artistry and creativity, Bill T. Jones has inspired a generation of dancers, choreographers -- and audiences.

In 1982, Bill T. Jones co-founded the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company with his partner Arnie Zane. As the company’s artistic director and choreographer, Jones has created more than 140 works, and in 2011, merged his company with New York’s historical Dance Theater Workshop to create New York Live Arts. The company’s 2015 piece Analogy/Dora: Tramontane is based on Jones’ mother-in-law’s recollections of life under the Nazi occupation of France.

Jones is a 1994 MacArthur Fellow; he received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010 and the National Medal of Arts from President Obama in 2013. He has won two Tony awards for Best Choreography, for the Broadway musicals Spring Awakening in 207 and Fela! in 2010. Jones is the author of a memoir, Last Night on Earth, and Story/Time, a reflection on his 2012 piece inspired by the work of John Cage.

Session 7: Creative Ignition
Wed Mar 18, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
Sarah Jones image Sarah Jones
Polymorphic playwright

Tony Award-winning monologist, UNICEF ambassador, firebrand and FCC-fighting poet -- Sarah Jones assumes as many roles offstage as on.

"Chameleon-like" barely describes the astonishing ease with which Sarah Jones slips in and out of the characters in her solo performances -- as many as fourteen personae in her Broadway hit Bridge & Tunnel. Critics marvel not only at her ability to perfectly mimic accents and mannerisms, but also to seemingly reshape her body, down to pupils and dimples, in the blink of an eye.

Jones' performances showcase a biting political awareness, and she has received commissions from Equality Now, the Kellogg Foundation and the National Immigration Forum to address issues of injustice and inequality. She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has given multiple performances at the White House at the invitation of President and First Lady Obama. Jones is now at work on a new solo show called Sell/Buy/Date, commissioned by the Novo Foundation. She debuted material from it at TED2015. She is also working on a commission for Lincoln Center Theater and a television project based on her characters.

Session 9: Just and Unjust
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
10:30 – 12:30
Paul Tudor Jones II image Paul Tudor Jones II
Investor

Paul Jones is founder of Tudor Investment Corporation and an active philanthropist.

Paul Tudor Jones II started to work on Wall Street in 1976. "If there was ever a free market free-for-all, this was it," he says. "Men wearing ties but acting like gladiators fought literally and physically for a profit." Jones emerged victorious, and as founder of Tudor Investment Corporation and other companies within the Tudor Group, he engages in trading in the fixed income, equity, currency and commodity markets. Headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, Tudor manages some $13.7 billion and employs almost 400 people.

Jones is an active philanthropist, including founding the Robin Hood Foundation and the Excellence Charter School, and he sits on the Boards of Just Capital, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Everglades Foundation, and Sonima Foundation. He is also a trustee of NYU's Langone Medical Center.

TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Lorraine Justice image Lorraine Justice
Design scholar

College dean Lorraine Justice is the author of "China’s Design Revolution."

A designer by profession and an artist by education, Lorraine Justice is the Dean of the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. She is a Fellow of the Industrial Designers’ Society of America and a recipient of prestigious design grants and awards. Previously, she spent 7 years in Hong Kong and China. Under her leadership, the School of Design at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University emerged as a leading design school. She is the author of China’s Design Revolution.
TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
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Matt Kenyon image Matt Kenyon
New media artist

From a plant that lives or dies based on stock prices to an oilcan that flows backward, Matt Kenyon creates art that startles, amuses and challenges assumptions.

Matt Kenyon works at the intersection of art and technology, creating pieces that question society’s large, complex systems — from our reliance on global corporations and oil, to the military-industrial complex. His works include: “SPORE 1.1,” a self-sustaining ecosystem for a rubber tree, purchased from The Home Depot and watered in conjunction with Home Depot stock prices; “Supermajor,” a collection of vintage oilcans with droplets of oil that defy gravity and flow back into a punctured hole; and ”Notepad,” a commemoration of the Iraqi civilians who died as a result of the US-led invasion, printed in the lines of what appear to be your average, everyday legal pads. 

Kenyon creates these projects through SWAMP, or Studies of Work Atmosphere and Mass Production. He teaches art at the University of Michigan's Stamps School of Art & Design.

TED Fellows Talks Session 1
Mon Mar 16, 2015
12:30 – 2:15
Suki Kim image Suki Kim
Writer

Suki Kim's investigation, "Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite," chronicles her six months undercover in Pyongyang during Kim Jong-Il's final six months. She worked as a teacher and a missionary in a university for future leaders -- all while writing her book.

Suki Kim is the only writer to ever go undercover into North Korea to write a book from the inside. Since 2002, South Korean-born Kim travelled to North Korea, witnessing both Kim Jong-Il's 60th birthday celebration and his death at age 69 in 2011. 

Her work sheds a new light on the understanding of the North Korean society by delving into its day-to-day life and provides unprecedented insights into the psychology of its ruling class, about whom the world knows very little.

Kim's novel, The Interpreter, was a finalist for a PEN Hemingway Prize, and her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Harper's and The New York Review of Books. She is the author of the investigation Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite.

 

Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Daniel Kish image Daniel Kish
Perceptual navigation specialist

Daniel Kish expands the perceptual toolbox of both blind and sighted humans by teaching echolocation -- the ability to observe our surroundings via sound.

When he was 13 months old, Daniel Kish lost both eyes to retinal cancer. Driven by fearless curiosity, he taught himself to navigate by clicking his tongue and listening for echoes -- a method science calls echolocation, and that Kish calls FlashSonar.

In 2000, Kish founded World Access for the Blind as a platform to teach FlashSonar, along with other methods that the blind can use to “see” and that the sighted can use to expand their awareness. Kish and many researchers believe that echolocation produces images similar to sight, and allows the visually impaired to transcend the limited expectations of society. 

Session 2: What Are We Thinking?
Tues Mar 17, 2015
8:30 – 10:15
The Kitchen Sisters image The Kitchen Sisters
Radio producers

Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva are the Kitchen Sisters, independent radio producers dedicated to building community through storytelling.

The Kitchen Sisters, radio producers Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, have created hundreds of stories for public broadcast about the lives, histories, art and rituals of people who have shaped our diverse cultural heritage. They are the producers of Hidden Kitchens, Lost & Found Sound and The Sonic Memorial Project with Jay Allison. They are also the producers of The Hidden World of Girls, a series on NPR that explored the lives of girls and the women they become, and The Making Of…, about what people make in the Bay Area and why, a production with KQED and AIR.

Hidden Kitchens explores the world of secret, unexpected, below-the-radar cooking across America — how communities come together through food. The series inspired their James Beard Award-winning book Hidden Kitchens: Stories, Recipes, and More from NPR’s The Kitchen Sisters. Other recent work includes the radio special Hidden Kitchens Texas, narrated by Willie Nelson; and Cry Me a River, a portrait of three pioneering river activists and the damming of wild rivers in the West, that aired as part of the series "Stories from the Heart of the Land."

The Kitchen Sisters' talk is a collaboration with Nancy Mullane and Life of the Law.

Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Sally Kohn image Sally Kohn
Political pundit

Sally Kohn searches for common ground among political foes by focusing on the compassion and humanity in everyone.

Sally Kohn has a powerful vision for a more united United States. She's a columnist and a political commentator for CNN, and she is working on a book about hate that will be published in the spring of 2018. As a former contributor to Fox News, this progressive lesbian sparred with some of the most conservative minds on television and has sifted through hundreds of letters of hate mail a day. But she deeply believes in finding our common humanity, political differences aside. Before we can achieve political correctness, we must first establish emotional correctness — and this will ignite conversations that lead to real change.

Kohn has appeared on Fox, MSNBC and CNN and has written for The Daily Beast, Salon, The Atlantic and TIME Magazine.

TEDYou
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
8:15 – 9:45
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Dawn Landes image Dawn Landes
Singer-songwriter

Dawn Landes, with her bright, supple voice and her restless imagination, is drawn to create and collaborate. A master of singer-songwriter pop, she is now writing a musical called "Row."

Dawn Landes is a singer-songwriter whose thoughtful music you might have heard if you watch Bored to Death, House, Gossip Girl or The Good Wife. Along with releasing five albums since 2005 (and an EP inspired by yé-yé, ‘60s French pop music), she’s a frequent collaborator with contemporaries such as Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Norah Jones and composer Nico Muhly.

She has appeared with the Boston Pops and the NYC Ballet and in Lincoln Center’s prestigious American Songbook Series, and spent the summer of 2014 working on a musical about fellow Louisville native Tori Murden McClure’s quest to become the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean.
Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
David Lang image David Lang
Maker

David Lang is a maker and the co-founder of OpenROV, a community of ocean lovers who build underwater robots.

David Lang is a maker whose craving for adventure turned him into an amateur ocean explorer. A few years ago Lang and NASA engineer Eric Stackpole went looking for lost gold (literally) in an underwater cave in the foothills of the Sierra Navada. But they weren't quite sure how to go about it. Without much expertise (or money), the two put initial designs for an underwater robot explorer online. Soon OpenROV was born: a community of citizen ocean explorers who build and constantly improve upon these small remote operated underwater robots.

 Lang is also the author of Zero to Maker and a 2013 TED Fellow. He lives on a sailboat in the San Francisco Bay.

TED Fellows Talks Session 2
Mon Mar 16, 2015
3:00 – 4:30
Tim Leberecht image Tim Leberecht
Business romantic

A humanist in Silicon Valley, Tim Leberecht argues that in a time of artificial intelligence, big data and the quantification of everything, we are losing sight of the importance of the emotional and social aspects of our work.

In his book The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself, Tim Leberecht invites us to rediscover romance, beauty and serendipity by designing products, experiences, and organizations that "make us fall back in love with our work and our life." The book inspired the creation of the Business Romantic Society, a global collective of artists, developers, designers and researchers who share the mission of bringing beauty to business. Now running strategy consulting firm Leberecht & Partners, he was previously the chief marketing officer at NBBJ, a global design and architecture firm, and at Frog Design. He also co-founded the "15 Toasts" dinner series that creates safe spaces for people to have conversations on difficult topics.
TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Monica Lewinsky image Monica Lewinsky
Social activist

Monica Lewinsky advocates for a safer and more compassionate social media environment, drawing from her unique experiences at the epicenter of a media maelstrom in 1998.

After becoming the focus of the history-changing federal investigation into her private life, Monica Lewinsky found herself, at 24 years old, one of the first targets of a “culture of humiliation”: a now-familiar cycle of media, political and personal harassment – particularly online.

Lewinsky survived to reclaim her personal narrative. During a decade of silence she received her Masters in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 2014, Lewinsky returned to the public eye with an acclaimed essay for Vanity Fair, which has been nominated for a National Magazine Award for best Essay Writing, and with a widely viewed speech at Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Summit.

Session 9: Just and Unjust
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
10:30 – 12:30
Eric Lewis image Eric Lewis
Pianist

ELEW channels the raw emotion of alternative rock into fiery, take-no-prisoners jazz piano arrangements.

A virtuoso and fiery performer who treats the grand piano the way rock musicians treat a guitar, reaching into it to pluck strings and playing with explosive physicality, ELEW (Eric Lewis) has fused jazz and rock and in the process created a new genre, rockjazz. He has taken it from sold-out concert halls to a private performance at the White House, reinterpreting and reenergizing songs by Coldplay, Nirvana, Radiohead and more. He is the composer in residence at Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and leads a parallel career as a DJ.

TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Fei-Fei Li image Fei-Fei Li
Computer scientist

As Director of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Lab and Vision Lab, Fei-Fei Li is working to solve AI’s trickiest problems -- including image recognition, learning and language processing.

Using algorithms built on machine learning methods such as neural network models, the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab led by Fei-Fei Li has created software capable of recognizing scenes in still photographs -- and accurately describe them using natural language.

Li’s work with neural networks and computer vision (with Stanford’s Vision Lab) marks a significant step forward for AI research, and could lead to applications ranging from more intuitive image searches to robots able to make autonomous decisions in unfamiliar situations.

Fei-Fei was honored as one of Foreign Policy's 2015 Global Thinkers

Session 3: Machines That Learn
Tues Mar 17, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
Manuel Lima image Manuel Lima
Data visualization researcher

Manuel Lima studies how information can be organized -- into elegant and beautiful diagrams that illustrate the many unexpected twists of big data.

Data expert Manuel Lima approaches intimidatingly dry stacks of bits with the eye of a designer. His website, VisualComplexity, is an encyclopedic and visually stunning catalog of the myriad paths artists take to illuminate the shadowy corners of stockpiled information, whether it’s a taxonomy of rap names or tracking oil money.

Lima’s passion for data has also driven him to become a historian. In The Book of Trees, he digs to the 12th-century roots of the tree diagram, one of humanity’s most powerful and ancient tools for visually representing knowledge.
Session 7: Creative Ignition
Wed Mar 18, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
Jamila Lyiscott image Jamila Lyiscott
Poet and educator

Jamila Lyiscott weaves words about language, education and the African Diaspora.

Jamila Lyiscott is currently an advanced doctoral candidate and adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College where her work focuses on the education of the African Diaspora. She is also an adjunct professor at Long Island University where she teaches on adult and adolescent literacy within the Urban Education system. A spoken word artist since the age of fifteen, Jamila works with youth, educators, and activists throughout the city to create spaces that reflect and engage the cultures and values of black and brown youth inside and outside of the classroom.

A Zankel Fellow, Lyiscott is also working as a Graduate Research Fellow at the Institute for Urban and Minority Education where she leads the Cyphers For Justice youth, research, and advocacy program. Jamila’s poetry and scholarly work has been published in Teachers and Writers Collaborative Magazine and English Journal. She has directed several conferences and projects both locally and internationally and has presented both spoken word and academic papers at many seminars. Through her community, scholastic, and artistic efforts, Jamila hopes to play a key role in forging better connections between the world of academia and communities of color outside.

Watch Lyiscott's Prezi, "How Broken English Made Me Whole."

TEDYou
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
8:15 – 9:45
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Dame Ellen MacArthur image Dame Ellen MacArthur
Circular economy advocate

After setting a record for sailing around the world, Dame Ellen MacArthur has turned her attention toward creating a more "circular" economy -- where resources and power recirculate and regenerate.

It's a tradition among British citizens: If you circumnavigate the globe by sail, you'll earn royal honors. Ellen MacArthur was made a dame in 2005 after the fastest solo sail around the world. But when you sail alone around the world, things come into focus. Dame Ellen, at the top of her sailing career, had become acutely aware of the finite nature of the resources our linear economy relies on.

In 2010, she launched the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which works with education and business to accelerate the transition to a regenerative circular economy. She also runs the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, using sailing to build confidence for kids following cancer treatment.

Session 12: Endgame
Fri Mar 20, 2015
9:30 – 12:00
Alexis Madrigal image Alexis Madrigal
Writer

Alexis Madrigal is the Silicon Valley Bureau Chief for Fusion, and the author of "Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology."

Alexis Madrigal is Fusion’s Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, overseeing the company’s digital and television platform as well as live events. Formerly, as deputy editor for TheAtlantic.com, he launched their Techology Channel, where he was the lead writer as well as host, and followed science and technology for Wired.com and the blog Wired Science.

He is the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. His research has uncovered amazing stories of green technological experimentation from the past, forks in the road on the way to our present society.

Madrigal is co-creator of Longshot magazine, a publication created in 48 hours with the help of internet tools and hundreds of contributors. The magazine was awarded the 2010 Knight-Batten Award for innovation.


Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Rajiv Maheswaran image Rajiv Maheswaran
Researcher

Using advanced data analysis tools, Rajiv Maheswaran and Second Spectrum help make basketball teams smarter.

Sports fans can get obsessed with stats about player performance and game-day physics. But basketball, a fluid and fast-moving game, has been tough to understand through numbers. Rajiv Maheswaran is working to change that, by offering pro basketball teams insight into game data to make better decisions. Maheswaran is the CEO and co-founder of Second Spectrum, a startup transforming sports through technology. He is also a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California's Computer Science Department and a Project Leader at the Information Sciences Institute at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, where he co-directs the Computational Behavior Group.

His research spans various aspects of multi-agent systems and distributed artificial intelligence using decision-theoretic and game-theoretic frameworks and solutions. His current interests focus on data analytics, visualization and real-time interaction to understand behavior in spatiotemporal domains. Like, say, the spatiotemporal domain around a basketball hoop.

Session 3: Machines That Learn
Tues Mar 17, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
Kristen Marhaver image Kristen Marhaver
Coral reef biologist

TED Senior Fellow Kristen Marhaver is a marine biologist studying the ecology, behavior and reproduction of reef corals.

Dr. Kristen Marhaver's work combines classic scientific methods with new technologies to help threatened coral species survive their early life stages. She was the first person to rear juveniles of the endangered Caribbean Pillar Coral. Now she's now developing bacterial tools to improve coral survival at all life stages.

Marhaver's research has been covered by NPR, BBC, The Atlantic and Popular Science, among hundreds of outlets. She's earned five fellowships and grants from the US National Science Foundation and multiple awards for science communication. Marhaver is a TED Senior Fellow, a WINGS Fellow, and a World Economic Forum Young Scientist.

Outside the lab, Marhaver advocates for stronger ocean conservation and smarter science communication. Her talks and articles have been featured by Google, Wired UK, Mission Blue and by ocean and scuba festivals around the world.

A scuba diver from the age of 15, Marhaver is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology and the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her lab is based at the CARMABI Research Station on the island of Curaçao.

TED Fellows Talks Session 2
Mon Mar 16, 2015
3:00 – 4:30
Roman Mars image Roman Mars
Digital storyteller

With his show 99% Invisible, Roman Mars discovered new ways to jolt public radio out of its old paradigms, while at the same time spinning riveting tales of design.

From its humble beginnings in his home, Roman Mars’ podcast and radio show 99% Invisible accumulated a massive following to become a broadcast and internet phenomenon. Its premise -- 10- to 20-minute episodes focused on a single compelling story -- subverts public radio’s reliance on long, strictly formatted shows, and has garnered national praise.

Over a series of three runaway crowdsourced fundraising campaigns, 99% Invisible generated over $1.2 million, making Mars the most successful crowdfunded journalist in Kickstarter history.

Session 10: Building From Scratch
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Erin McKean image Erin McKean
Dictionary editor

As the co-founder of Reverb Technologies, the maker of the online dictionary Wordnik, Erin McKean is reshaping how we interact with language itself.

Erin McKean's job as a lexicographer involves living in a constant state of research. She searches high and low -- from books to blogs, newspapers to cocktail parties -- for new words, new meanings for old words, or signs that old words have fallen out of use. In June of this year, she involved us all in the search by launching Wordnik, an online dictionary that houses all the traditionally accepted words and definitions, but also asks users to contribute new words and new uses for old words. Wordnik pulls real-time examples of word usage from Twitter, image representations from Flickr along with many more non-traditional, and highly useful, features. 

Before Wordnik, McKean was one of the youngest editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary. She continues to serve as the editor of the language quarterly  Verbatim ("language and linguistics for the layperson since 1974") and is the author of multiple books, including That's Amore and the entire Weird and Wonderful Words series. All that, and she maintains multiple blogs, too: McKean is the keen observationalist behind A Dress a Day and Dictionary Evangelist. Is there anything she can't do? Surprisingly, she is notoriously bad at Scrabble.  

 

 

Session 10: Building From Scratch
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Maryn McKenna image Maryn McKenna
Public health journalist

Maryn McKenna recounts the often terrifying stories behind emerging drug-resistant diseases that medical science is barely keeping at bay.

Maryn McKenna’s harrowing stories of hunting down anthrax with the CDC and her chronicle of antibiotic-resistant staph infections in Superbug earned her the nickname “scary disease girl” among her colleagues.

But her investigations into public health don’t stop there: she blogs and writes on the history of epidemics and the public health challenges posed by factory farming. For her forthcoming book, McKenna is researching the symbiotic history of food production and antibiotics, and how their use impacts our lives, societies and the potential for illness.

Session 6: Radical Reframe
Wed Mar 18, 2015
8:30 – 10:15
Cosmin Mihaiu image Cosmin Mihaiu
Physical therapy entrepreneur

Cosmin Mihaiu is the CEO and co-founder of MIRA Rehab, which develops software that engages patients in interactive and therapeutic games, making physical rehabilitation fun.

When Cosmin Mihaiu noticed that injured patients hated physical therapy — and often took longer to recover because of it — he dedicated himself to making the dreaded process more engaging, or even fun. In 2011 he and his colleagues founded MIRA Rehab, where they develop software that lets patients play interactive, therapeutic games.

As MIRA’s CEO, Mihaiu now focuses on building relationships with medical institutions around the US and the UK, showing them how video games can make recovery more effective for patients and physical therapists alike.

TED Fellows Talks Session 1
Mon Mar 16, 2015
12:30 – 2:15
Chris Milk image Chris Milk
Immersive storyteller

Working at the frontiers of interactive technology, Chris Milk stretches virtual reality into a new canvas for storytelling.

Chris Milk is a visual artist who has created music videos for Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Beck, U2, Johnny Cash, Gnarls Barkley and many more. He is known for weaving artistic and technological innovations in pursuit of the next great platform for storytelling. Milk's acclaimed interactive projects include Wilderness Downtown (with Arcade Fire), The Johnny Cash Project and The Treachery of Sanctuary. His interactive installation artworks have been showcased at the MoMA, the Tate Modern and museums around the world.

Milk's most recent contribution to the art and tech frontier is as founder and CEO of the virtual reality company Within (formerly Vrse). In collaboration with the New York Times, Zach Richter and JR, Milk created two VR films, Walking New York and The Displaced, which were distributed along with Google Cardboard viewers to 1 million NYT subscribers in 2015. He has also collaborated on VR projects with the United Nations (Clouds Over Sidra and Waves of Grace), Vice, SNL and U2.

Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Alisa Miller image Alisa Miller
CEO, Public Radio International (PRI)

As the CEO of Public Radio International, Alisa Miller works to bring the most significant news stories to millions -- empowering Americans with the knowledge to make choices in an interconnected world.

Alisa Miller wants to define the future of how people will engage with storytelling and technology. She's CEO of PRI, Public Radio International, and is leading the organization’s transformation from a creator and distributor of news and audio into a multiplatform medium that informs and enables millions of people to act on stories that move them. An advocate for global perspectives in the news, she recently launched the Across Women's Lives Initiative at the Clinton Global Initiative to increase news coverage and engagement around global women’s issues.

BONUS: Watch Alisa Miller's talk "We need more women represented in media" on the TED Archive.

TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
BJ Miller image BJ Miller
Palliative care physician

Using empathy and a clear-eyed view of mortality, BJ Miller shines a light on healthcare’s most ignored facet: preparing for death.

Palliative care specialist BJ Miller helps patients face their own deaths realistically, comfortably, and on their own terms. Miller is cultivating a model for palliative care organizations around the world, and emphasizing healthcare’s quixotic relationship to the inevitability of death. He is a hospice and palliative medicine physician and sees patients and families at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Miller’s passion for palliative care stems from personal experience -- a shock sustained while a Princeton undergraduate cost him three limbs and nearly killed him. But his experiences form the foundation of a hard-won empathy for patients who are running out of time.

Session 12: Endgame
Fri Mar 20, 2015
9:30 – 12:00
Moon Hooch image Moon Hooch
Trio

Two saxophone players and a drummer, Moon Hooch whip up a raw, infectiously danceable sound.

Moon Hooch have played on subway platforms and in cow pastures, but wherever they go they seem to incite a little bit of disorder. (Watch their viral video "Cattle Dance Party" if you doubt.) Two sax players, Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen, and drummer James Muschler whip together a brittle, funky sound using call-and-response horn parts amplified by whatever's handy -- PVC tubes, traffic cones ... . After being banned from playing the Bedford Avenue station in Williamsburg, they've toured with They Might Be Giants, Lotus and Galactic as well as on their own.

Their second album, This Is Cave Music, came out last fall; the title refers to the term Moon Hooch coined to describe their sound: like house music, but more primitive and jagged and raw.

Session 1: Opening Gambit
Mon Mar 16, 2015
6:00 – 8:00
Patience Mthunzi image Patience Mthunzi
Laser scientist

Patience Mthunzi wants to use lasers to deliver medicines more effectively.

Patience Mthunzi is a research group leader at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria, South Africa. There, she uses laser "tweezers" to try and separate diseased cells from healthy ones. She's also developed a way to use laser pulses to target drug delivery into cells.

Born in Soweto, Patience got her PhD in physics from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. In 2012, she was named one of 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa by Forbes magazine; that same year she was given the Order of Mapungubwe for her contribution in the field of biophotonics. She's also a TED Fellow.

TED Fellows Talks Session 2
Mon Mar 16, 2015
3:00 – 4:30
Siddhartha Mukherjee image Siddhartha Mukherjee
Cancer physician and writer

When he’s not ferreting out the links between stem cells and malignant blood disease, Siddhartha Mukherjee writes and lectures on the history (and future) of medicine.

While discussing a diagnosis with a patient, Siddhartha Mukherjee realized that there were no easy answers to the question, “What is cancer?” Faced with his hesitation, Mukherjee decided to do something about it.

Over the next six years, Mukherjee wrote the influential, Pulitzer-winning The Emperor of All Maladies, a 4,000-year “biography” of cancer. He collaborated with Ken Burns on a six-hour documentary for PBS based on his book, updating the story with recent discoveries in oncology.

In his new TED Book, The Laws of Medicine, he examines the three principles that govern modern medicine -- and every profession that confronts uncertainty and wonder.

Session 6: Radical Reframe
Wed Mar 18, 2015
8:30 – 10:15
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Latif Nasser image Latif Nasser
Radio researcher

Latif Nasser is the director of research at Radiolab, where he has reported on such disparate topics as culture-bound illnesses, snowflake photography, sinking islands and 16th-century automata.

The history of science is "brimming with tales stranger than fiction," says Latif Nasser, who wrote his PhD dissertation on the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic of 1962. A writer and researcher, Nasser is now the research director at Radiolab, a job that allows him to dive into archives, talk to interesting people and tell stories as a way to think about science and society.

Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
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Neri Oxman image Neri Oxman
Architect, designer

From the micro scale to the building scale, Neri Oxman imagines and creates structures and objects that are inspired, informed and engineered by, for and with nature.

Neri Oxman creates designs that usher the next building revolution by constructing products that transcend parts and assemblies. Head of the Mediated Matter research group at the MIT Media Lab, an architect and designer, she leads the search for ways in which digital fabrication technologies interact with natural environments and the biological world. Oxman’s approach, termed "Material Ecology," spans biology, computation, materials and digital fabrication. Her works are included in permanent collections in museums worldwide including the MoMA, Centre Pompidou, the Boston MFA and the Smithsonian Institution.

Session 10: Building From Scratch
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
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Jason Padgett image Jason Padgett
Geometric artist

After sustaining a head injury, Jason Padgett sees the world as a mesh of fractal shapes. Now he shares his visions with eye-popping geometric drawings.

In 2002, Jason Padgett was a constantly partying, 32-year-old wild man, when he was violently mugged outside a karaoke bar. His resulting head injury caused him to see cascades of crystals when he turned on the water faucet, interlocking triangles when he looked at trees, and illuminated nets when the sun burst through the trees. He became a mathematics-obsessed hermit.

His newly found vision inspired him to return to college, and also to create luminous “fractal drawings” to illustrate what he sees. His book Struck by Genius explains his experience and gives hints of the science behind it.

Session 2: What Are We Thinking?
Tues Mar 17, 2015
8:30 – 10:15
Esther Perel image Esther Perel
Relationship therapist

Psychotherapist Esther Perel is changing the conversation on what it means to be in love and have a fulfilling sex life.

For the first time in human history, couples aren’t having sex just to have kids; there’s room for sustained desire and long-term sexual relationships. But how? Perel, a licensed marriage and family therapist with a practice in New York, travels the world to help people answer this question. For her research she works across cultures and is fluent in nine languages. She coaches, consults and speaks regularly on erotic intelligence, trauma, sexual honesty and conflict resolution. She is the author of Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic. Her latest work focuses on infidelity: what it is, why happy people do it and how couples can recover from it. She aims to locate this very personal experience within a larger cultural context.

Session 11: Passion and Consequence
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Stephen Petranek image Stephen Petranek
Technology forecaster

Stephen Petranek untangles emerging technologies to predict which will become fixtures of our future lives -- and which could potentially save them.

Writer and technologist Stephen Petranek became a reluctant doomsayer when his earliest TED Talk (“10 ways the world could end”) racked up 1.5 million views. But Petranek is in fact an optimist who believes that humanity will escape its predicaments -- literally. Within a century, he predicts that humans will have established a city of 80,000 on Mars: and that not only is that plausible, but it’s also inevitable.

Petranek is the editor-in-chief of the Breakthrough Technology Alert, a technology newsletter that ties scientific breakthroughs to investment opportunities. He's the author of the TED Book How We'll Live on Mars.
Session 4: Out of This World
Tues Mar 17, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Joshua Prager image Joshua Prager
Journalist

Joshua Prager’s journalism unravels historical secrets -- and his own.

Joshua Prager writes for publications including Vanity Fair, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, where he was a senior writer for eight years. George Will has described his work as "exemplary journalistic sleuthing."

His new book, 100 Years, is a list of literary quotations on every age from birth to one hundred. Designed by Milton Glaser, the legendary graphic designer who created the I ♥ NY logo, the book moves year by year through the words of our most beloved authors, revealing the great sequence of life.

His first book, The Echoing Green, was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. The New York Times Book Review called it “a revelation and a page turner, a group character study unequaled in baseball writing since Roger Kahn’s Boys of Summer some three decades ago.”

His second book, Half-Life, describes his recovery from a bus crash that broke his neck. Dr. Jerome Groopman, staff writer at the New Yorker magazine, called it “an extraordinary memoir, told with nuance and brimming with wisdom.

Joshua was a Nieman fellow at Harvard in 2011 and a Fulbright Distinguished Chair at Hebrew University in 2012. He was born in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, grew up in New Jersey, and lives in New York. He is writing a book about Roe v. Wade.

 

TEDYou
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
8:15 – 9:45
Stephen Pyne image Stephen Pyne
Fire historian

Stephen Pyne traces fire’s role in building earth’s ecosystems and cultures -- and the catastrophic dangers we face if we mismanage our monopoly over it.

After detours through outer space (Voyager)and the Pleistocene (The Last Lost World), historian Stephen Pyne has returned to his favorite topic -- fire --  in order to address how humanity's relationship with fire has changed over time and is currently changing the earth’s climate and ecosystems.

Pyne’s books trace not only the natural history of fire -- they show how fire is an agent of change in every aspect of human culture, examine the institutions different countries have devised to control it, and explore how fossil fuel burning has disrupted our planet’s natural fire cycle.

Session 10: Building From Scratch
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
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Usman Riaz image Usman Riaz
Artist, composer

TED Senior Fellow Usman Riaz is an artist and composer.

Usman Riaz is the founder of Mano Animation Studios -- Pakistans first hand-drawn animation studio. Their first project, The Glassworker (شیشہ گر), was created by a team of creatives from Pakistan, Malaysia, Canada, South Africa, the US and the UK. 

TED Fellows Talks Session 2
Mon Mar 16, 2015
3:00 – 4:30
Rodrigo y Gabriela image Rodrigo y Gabriela
Guitar duo

Rodrigo y Gabriela fuse metal, jazz and world music into an exhilarating cocktail of complex arrangements and virtuoso musicianship.

Since they left Mexico for Ireland in 1999, Rodrigo y Gabriela have established themselves as one of the most popular acoustic instrumental bands in the world. They have sold in excess of 1.5 million albums worldwide and have sold out venues like the Hollywood Bowl, the Royal Albert Hall, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Le Zenith in Paris on numerous occasions.

Their film work includes the soundtracks to Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Puss In Boots, and they have collaborated onstage and on record with artists as diverse as Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Al Di Meola, Zack De La Rocha (Rage Against The Machine) and Anoushka Shankar. In 2010, Rodrigo y Gabriela played at The White House in Washington for President Obama.

From humble beginnings as buskers on Dublin's Grafton Street, endless touring and a great word of mouth buzz carried the band forward until their international break out with the release of their self-titled 2006 album, which spawned the hits "Tamacun," "Diablo Rojo" and their cover of "Stairway To Heaven." The duo has appeared on Jools Holland, BBC TV's Glastonbury coverage, plus Letterman and Jay Leno in America.

"11:11" followed in 2009, and the band went to Cuba in 2012 to record with local musicians for "Area 52." The band's last studio album release was 2014's "9 Dead Alive."

Session 7: Creative Ignition
Wed Mar 18, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
Joshua Roman image Joshua Roman
Cellist

Joshua Roman, a TED Fellow, is an independent-minded cellist.

Dubbed a “Classical Rock Star” by the press, cellist Joshua Roman has earned a national reputation for performing a wide range of repertoire with an absolute commitment to communicating the essence of the music at its most organic level. Before embarking on a solo career, he was for two seasons principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, a position he won in 2006 at the age of 22. For his ongoing creative initiatives on behalf of classical music, he has been selected as a 2011 TED Fellow, joining a select group of Next Generation innovators who have shown unusual accomplishments and the potential to positively affect the world.

Roman’s 2009–10 season engagements include debuts as concerto soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, as well as the Albany, Arkansas, and Santa Barbara Symphonies, the New Philharmonic Orchestra in Illinois, Oklahoma’s Signature Symphony, and Kentucky’s Lexington Philharmonic. In recent seasons he has performed with the Seattle Symphony, where he gave the world premiere of David Stock’s Cello Concerto, as well as with the Symphonies of Edmonton, Quad City, Spokane, and Stamford, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, among others. In 2008, Roman performed Britten’s third Cello Suite during New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival in a pre-concert recital at Avery Fisher Hall. In April 2009, he was the only guest artist invited to play an unaccompanied solo during the YouTube Symphony Orchestra’s debut concert at Carnegie Hall.

In addition to his solo work, Roman is an avid chamber music performer. He has enjoyed collaborations with veterans like Earl Carlyss and Christian Zacharias, as well as the Seattle Chamber Music Society and the International Festival of Chamber Music in Lima, Peru. He often joins forces with other dynamic young soloists and performers from New York’s contemporary music scene, including Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion, and artists from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two. In spring 2007, he was named Artistic Director of TownMusic, an experimental chamber music series at Town Hall in Seattle, where he creates programs that feature new works and reflect the eclectic range of his musical influences and inspirations.

Committed to making music accessible to a wider audience, Roman may be found anywhere from a club to a classroom, whether performing jazz, rock, chamber music, or a solo sonata by Bach or Kodály. His versatility as a performer and his ongoing exploration of new concertos, chamber music, and solo cello works have spawned projects with composers such as Aaron Jay Kernis, Mason Bates, and Dan Visconti. One of Roman’s current undertakings is an online video series calledThe Popper Project—wherever the cellist and his laptop find themselves, he performs an étude from David Popper’s “High School of Cello Playing” and uploads it, unedited, to his YouTube channel. Roman’s outreach endeavors have taken him to Uganda with his violin-playing siblings, where they played chamber music in schools, HIV/AIDS centers, and displacement camps, communicating a message of hope through music.

Session 4: Out of This World
Tues Mar 17, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Joshua Roman image Joshua Roman
Cellist

Joshua Roman, a TED Fellow, is an independent-minded cellist.

Dubbed a “Classical Rock Star” by the press, cellist Joshua Roman has earned a national reputation for performing a wide range of repertoire with an absolute commitment to communicating the essence of the music at its most organic level. Before embarking on a solo career, he was for two seasons principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, a position he won in 2006 at the age of 22. For his ongoing creative initiatives on behalf of classical music, he has been selected as a 2011 TED Fellow, joining a select group of Next Generation innovators who have shown unusual accomplishments and the potential to positively affect the world.

Roman’s 2009–10 season engagements include debuts as concerto soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, as well as the Albany, Arkansas, and Santa Barbara Symphonies, the New Philharmonic Orchestra in Illinois, Oklahoma’s Signature Symphony, and Kentucky’s Lexington Philharmonic. In recent seasons he has performed with the Seattle Symphony, where he gave the world premiere of David Stock’s Cello Concerto, as well as with the Symphonies of Edmonton, Quad City, Spokane, and Stamford, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, among others. In 2008, Roman performed Britten’s third Cello Suite during New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival in a pre-concert recital at Avery Fisher Hall. In April 2009, he was the only guest artist invited to play an unaccompanied solo during the YouTube Symphony Orchestra’s debut concert at Carnegie Hall.

In addition to his solo work, Roman is an avid chamber music performer. He has enjoyed collaborations with veterans like Earl Carlyss and Christian Zacharias, as well as the Seattle Chamber Music Society and the International Festival of Chamber Music in Lima, Peru. He often joins forces with other dynamic young soloists and performers from New York’s contemporary music scene, including Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion, and artists from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two. In spring 2007, he was named Artistic Director of TownMusic, an experimental chamber music series at Town Hall in Seattle, where he creates programs that feature new works and reflect the eclectic range of his musical influences and inspirations.

Committed to making music accessible to a wider audience, Roman may be found anywhere from a club to a classroom, whether performing jazz, rock, chamber music, or a solo sonata by Bach or Kodály. His versatility as a performer and his ongoing exploration of new concertos, chamber music, and solo cello works have spawned projects with composers such as Aaron Jay Kernis, Mason Bates, and Dan Visconti. One of Roman’s current undertakings is an online video series calledThe Popper Project—wherever the cellist and his laptop find themselves, he performs an étude from David Popper’s “High School of Cello Playing” and uploads it, unedited, to his YouTube channel. Roman’s outreach endeavors have taken him to Uganda with his violin-playing siblings, where they played chamber music in schools, HIV/AIDS centers, and displacement camps, communicating a message of hope through music.

Session 7: Creative Ignition
Wed Mar 18, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
Pamela Ronald image Pamela Ronald
Plant geneticist

Embracing both genetically improved seed and ecologically based farming methods, Pamela Ronald aims to enhance sustainable agriculture.

As a proponent of sustainable agriculture using the most appropriate technologies, UC Davis researcher Pamela Ronald’s holistic vision startles some. But the success of her genetic tinkering is uncontroversial: it shows that genetic improvement is a critical component of feeding the world without further destroying the environment.

Her book Tomorrow’s Table (co-authored with organic farmer Raoul Adamchak) argues that to advance sustainable agriculture, we must not focus on how a seed variety was developed. Instead we must ask what technology most enhances local food security and can provide safe, abundant and nutritious food to consumers.

Session 6: Radical Reframe
Wed Mar 18, 2015
8:30 – 10:15
Martine Rothblatt image Martine Rothblatt
Transhumanist

Whether she’s inventing satellite radio, developing life-saving drugs or digitizing the human mind, Martine Rothblatt has a knack for turning visionary ideas into commonplace technology.

After creating satellite radio with a startup that went on to become Sirius XM, Martine Rothblatt was on the verge of retirement. But her daughter’s rare lung disease inspired her to start United Therapeutics and develop an oral medication that changed the lives of thousands of patients. Now with the Terasem Foundation, she’s researching the digital preservation of personality as a means to enable the contents of our minds to outlast our bodies.

Rothblatt’s books include The Apartheid of Sex, which (inspired by her experiences as a transgendered woman) takes on conventional wisdom surrounding gender. Her latest book, Virtually Human, explores human rights for the digital lifeforms just over the horizon.

Session 5: Life Stories
Tues Mar 17, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
David Rothkopf image David Rothkopf
Foreign policy strategist

With books and strategies, David Rothkopf helps people navigate the perils and opportunities of our contemporary geopolitical landscape.

David Rothkopf draws on decades of foreign policy experience to clarify the events shaking today’s world -- and develops strategies for organizations to weather them and those looming ahead. Rothkopf is CEO of The Rothkopf Group, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former CEO and Editor of the FP Group (which publishes Foreign Policy Magazine and Foreign Policy.com).

Rothkopf's books (including most recently National Insecurity, which focuses on the treacherous post-9/11 national security climate) argue that the nature of power and those who wield it are fundamentally transforming. He is the author of the TED Book, The Great Questions of Tomorrow.

Session 1: Opening Gambit
Mon Mar 16, 2015
6:00 – 8:00
Kevin Rudd image Kevin Rudd
International relations expert

While studying future alternatives for China’s global relations, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has come to an ominous conclusion: conflict is looming.

Drawing on a deep knowledge of Chinese culture, language and history (and as a Senior Fellow with Harvard’s Belfer Center), Kevin Rudd and his colleagues study alternate courses for US-China relations that guide us away from a seemingly inevitable confrontation. As Prime Minister during the global financial crisis (and as one of the founders of the G20), Rudd helped keep Australia out of recession with a stimulus strategy lauded by the IMF as exemplary among its member states. Rudd is also President of the Asia Society Policy Institute, a think tank specializing in Asian affairs.

In March 2015, Rudd published "China under Xi Jinping: Alternative Futures for U.S.-China Relations," a series of three addresses on American and Chinese values, perceptions, interests, and strategic intentions, and their impact on the possibility of developing a common narrative for U.S.-China relations for the future.

Session 1: Opening Gambit
Mon Mar 16, 2015
6:00 – 8:00
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Kailash Satyarthi image Kailash Satyarthi
Children’s rights activist

2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi is a tireless activist fighting to protect the rights of voiceless children everywhere.

Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi has been leading the global fight against child slavery for over three decades.  As the founder of a grassroots nonprofit, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or Save Childhood Movement, he has rescued more than 80,000 Indian children to date from various forms of exploitation from child labor to child trafficking.

Kailash’s work has involved organizing almost weekly raid, rescue and recovery missions on workplaces that employ and enslave children. Since 2001, Satyarthi’s has risked his own life to rescue these children and has convinced families in more than 300 Indian villages to avoid sending their children to work, and instead putting them in school.
 
Satyarthi’s has also managed to grab and retain the world’s attention on the problem. He organized the Global March Against Child Labor in the 1990s to raise awareness and free millions of children shackled in various forms of modern slavery. His activism was also instrumental in the adoption of Convention No. 182 by the International Labour Organization, a statue that's become a guideline for many governments on child labor.
 
In 2014, he and Malala Yousafzai were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

Session 12: Endgame
Fri Mar 20, 2015
9:30 – 12:00
Laura Schulz image Laura Schulz
Cognitive scientist

Developmental behavior studies spearheaded by Laura Schulz are changing our notions of how children learn.

MIT Early Childhood Cognition Lab lead investigator Laura Schulz studies learning in early childhood. Her research bridges computational models of cognitive development and behavioral studies in order to understand the origins of inquiry and discovery.

Working in play labs, children’s museums, and a recently-launched citizen science website, Schultz is reshaping how we view young children’s perceptions of the world around them. Some of the surprising results of her research: before the age of four, children expect hidden causes when events happen probabilistically, use simple experiments to distinguish causal hypotheses, and trade off learning from instruction and exploration.

Session 2: What Are We Thinking?
Tues Mar 17, 2015
8:30 – 10:15
Sophie Scott image Sophie Scott
Neuroscientist, stand-up comic

While exploring the neuroscience of speech and vocal behavior, Sophie Scott stumbled upon a surprising second vocation: making audiences laugh as a stand-up comic.

As deputy director of the University College London’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Sophie Scott seeks out the neurological basis of communication, whether it’s speech or vocalized emotion.

As a pioneering researcher in the science of laughter, she’s made some unexpected discoveries -- including that rats are ticklish, and that the one tactic that’s almost guaranteed to get someone to laugh is to show them someone else laughing. But as an occasional stand-up comedian with UCL’s Bright Club, she shows that she’s no slouch at getting laughs herself.

Session 12: Endgame
Fri Mar 20, 2015
9:30 – 12:00
Sara Seager image Sara Seager
Exoplanet expert

Sara Seager’s research led to the first discovery of an atmosphere on a planet outside our solar system. Now she’s on the hunt for a twin Earth.

Having helped pave the way for the current torrent of discoveries of planets outside of our solar system (or exoplanets), 2013 MacArthur Fellow Sara Seager is now preparing to fulfill her life dream of discovering a planet with nearly identical conditions to our own.

Seager’s present research and discovery mission projects include Earth-orbiting nanosatellite telescopes as well as the Starshade, a sunflower-shaped giant screen to block intrusive starlight, allowing a space telescope to zoom in on the small exoplanets that have thus far eluded our sight.
Session 4: Out of This World
Tues Mar 17, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
eL Seed image eL Seed
Artist

French-Tunisian artist eL Seed blends the historic art of Arabic calligraphy with graffti to portray messages of beauty, poetry and peace across all continents.

Born in Paris to Tunisian parents, eL Seed travels the world, making art in Paris, New York, Jeddah, Melbourne, Gabes, Doha and beyond. His goal: to create dialogue and promote tolerance as well as change global perceptions of what Arabic means. In 2012, for instance, he painted a message of unity on a 47-meter-high minaret on the Jara mosque in Gabes, Tunisia. This piece and others can be found in his book, Lost Walls: Graffiti Road Trip through Tunisia

Most recently he created a sprawling mural in the Manshiyat Naser neighborhood of Cairo that spans 50 buildings and can only be viewed from a local mountaintop. Intending to honor the historic garbage collectors of the Manshiyat Naser neighborhood, the piece reads, "Anyone who wants to see the sunlight clearly needs to wipe his eye first."

TED Fellows Talks Session 2
Mon Mar 16, 2015
3:00 – 4:30
Aomawa Shields image Aomawa Shields
Astronomer, astrobiologist, actor, writer

Aomawa Shields studies the climate and habitability of planets outside of the Solar System.

Dr. Aomawa Shields received her PhD in Astronomy and Astrobiology from the University of Washington in 2014. She also received an MFA in Acting from UCLA in 2001, and a Bachelor's degree in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences from MIT in 1997. She is currently an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow, a UC President's Postdoctoral Program Fellow, and a 2015 TED Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Dr. Shields is the founder of Rising Stargirls, an organization dedicated to encouraging girls of all colors and backgrounds to explore and discover the universe using theater, writing, and visual art. She uses her theater and writing background to communicate science to the public in engaging, innovative ways.

TED Fellows Talks Session 1
Mon Mar 16, 2015
12:30 – 2:15
Dame Stephanie Shirley image Dame Stephanie Shirley
Entrepreneur and philanthropist

In 1962, Dame Stephanie "Steve" Shirley founded Freelance Programmers, a software firm with innovative work practices -- and (mainly) women employees.

In the austerity of post-World War II England, jobs were few, and opportunities for women to earn a wage were even fewer. So, on her dining room table, Stephanie Shirley founded the kind of company she'd like to work for -- one that posed challenging, rewarding tasks, built around flexible work rules that made it possible to have a real life. Her software company, Freelance Programmers made her one of the richest women in England (and one of the few to have earned her own money). Initially employing only women -- Shirley often bid for contracts as "Steve" to compete in the male-dominated industry -- the company was eventually valued at $3 billion, while 70 of the staff became millionaires when it floated on the stock market.

But money wasn't Shirley's object. "A lot of people go into business to make money," she told the Guardian. "I really didn't; I went in with a mission for women. Conversely, I was determined never, ever to be poor again." Freelance Programmers became the FI Group became Xansa; it was acquired by Steria in 2007.

Shirley retired in 1993, but she hasn't stopped pushing for progress in the fields she loves. For instance, she works tirelessly to push forward research into autism spectrum disorders, as well as to study and improve the IT industry and the role of the internet in society. She told the Guardian, "I do get committed, and I don't just give my money; I try to give of myself."

Session 5: Life Stories
Tues Mar 17, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Steve Silberman image Steve Silberman
Writer and editor

Steve Silberman is a writer and contributing editor for Wired who covers science and society. His newest book explores neurodiversity and the link between autism and genius.

Steve Silberman is a writer and contributing editor for Wired and other national magazines. In 2001, he published "The Geek Syndrome," one of the first articles in the mainstream press to probe the complex relationship between autism and genius. The article was praised by experts in the field like neurologist Oliver Sacks and author Temple Grandin, but as time went on, Silberman was haunted by the biggest question that he had left unanswered: Why have rates of autism diagnosis increased so steeply in the past 30 years?

This question has become particularly pressing in the face of a resurgence of measles, mumps, pertussis and other childhood diseases worldwide due to parental fears of vaccines, despite numerous studies debunking their alleged connection to autism. To solve that medical mystery for his new book, NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, due out in August 2015, Silberman went back to the first years of autism research, where he uncovered a series of events -- some long forgotten, and others deliberately buried -- that will require the history of autism to be rewritten.

A former teaching assistant for the poet Allen Ginsberg, Silberman has won numerous awards over the years for his science coverage in the New Yorker, Nature and many other national and international magazines.
Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Jim Simons image Jim Simons
Philanthropist, mathematician

After astonishing success as a mathematician, code breaker and billionaire hedge fund manager, Jim Simons is mastering yet another field: philanthropy.

As a mathematician who cracked codes for the National Security Agency on the side, Jim Simons had already revolutionized geometry -- and incidentally laid the foundation for string theory -- when he began to get restless. Along with a few hand-picked colleagues he started the investment firm that went on to become Renaissance, a hedge fund working with hitherto untapped algorithms, and became a billionaire in the process.

Now retired as Renaissance’s CEO, Simons devotes his time to mathematics and philanthropy. The Simons Foundation has committed more than a billion dollars to math and science education and to autism research.

Session 3: Machines That Learn
Tues Mar 17, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
Clint Smith image Clint Smith
Poet, educator

Clint Smith's work blends art and activism.

Clint Smith is a writer, teacher and doctoral candidate at Harvard University studying education, incarceration and inequality. Previously, he taught high school English in Prince George’s County, Maryland where, in 2013, he was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council.

Clint is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion, an Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, and author of the poetry collection Counting Descent. He has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Cave Canem and the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, Boston Review, American Poetry Review, Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere. He was born and raised in New Orleans, LA.

Session 9: Just and Unjust
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
10:30 – 12:30
Rick Smith image Rick Smith
Entrepreneur

The true promise of 3D printing, suggests Rick Smith, is not found in home workshops but in large industrial production.

Rick Smith is the cofounder of CloudDDM, a company focusing on 3D printing and additive manufacturing. An entrepreneur and inventor, he is the co-founder of a number of companies in digital manufacturing and business. He argues that the real impact of 3D printing will be on industrial production. He is the co-author of The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers and author of The Leap. He also created the Primary Color Assessment, a model to assess one’s unique professional abilities.
TED University
Wed Mar 18, 2015
2:15 – 4:00
Christopher Soghoian image Christopher Soghoian
Privacy researcher and activist

Christopher Soghoian researches and exposes the high-tech surveillance tools that governments use to spy on their own citizens, and he is a champion of digital privacy rights.

TED Fellow Christopher Soghoian is a champion of digital privacy rights, with a focus on the role that third-party service providers play in enabling governments to monitor citizens. As the principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union, he explores the intersection of federal surveillance and citizen's rights.

Before joining the ACLU, he was the first-ever technologist for the Federal Trade Commision's Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, where he worked on investigations of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Netflix. Soghoian is also the creator of Do Not Track, an anti-tracking device that all major web browsers now use, and his work has been cited in court.

TED Fellows Talks Session 2
Mon Mar 16, 2015
3:00 – 4:30
Somi image Somi
Vocalist, composer and culturist

With her lustrous voice and wide-ranging musical curiosity, Somi spins elegant vocal jazz from African legacies.

In late 2011, East African vocalist and songwriter Somi moved from New York City to Lagos, Nigeria, for 18 months in search of new inspiration. The result: her chart-topping 2014 major label debut, The Lagos Music Salon (Sony Music). The album, with guests Angelique Kidjo, Common and Ambrose Akinmusire, draws its material from the tropical city's boastful cosmopolitanism, urgent inspiration and giant spirit, straddling the worlds of African jazz, soul and pop with a newfound ease and voice that Vogue Magazine calls "powerful."

Born in Illinois to immigrants from Rwanda and Uganga, African and Jazz legacies are crucial to Somi's sound. Referred to as a modern-day Miriam Makeba, JazzTimes magazine describes her performance as "the earthy gutsiness of Nina Simone blended with the fluid vocal beauty of Dianne Reeves," while Billboard remarks that she's "all elegance and awe... utterly captivating." 

In 2013, Somi was invited by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to perform at the United Nations' General Assembly in commemoration of the International Day of Rememberance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  

A TED Senior Fellow, inaugural Association of Performing Arts Presenters Fellow, founder of the non-profit New Africa Live, and a two-time recipient of the Doris Duke Foundation's French-American Jazz Exchange Composers’ Grant, Somi began an exploration of African and Arab jazz traditions alongside French-Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf, while investigating the role of the female voice during the Arab Spring protests. That body of work was premiered at the Kennedy Center’s 2014 Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival. Somi is a 2015 Artist-in-Residence at UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

She is currently working on a jazz opera about the life and legacy of South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba.

 

 

TED Fellows Talks Session 1
Mon Mar 16, 2015
12:30 – 2:15
Somi image Somi
Vocalist, composer and culturist

With her lustrous voice and wide-ranging musical curiosity, Somi spins elegant vocal jazz from African legacies.

In late 2011, East African vocalist and songwriter Somi moved from New York City to Lagos, Nigeria, for 18 months in search of new inspiration. The result: her chart-topping 2014 major label debut, The Lagos Music Salon (Sony Music). The album, with guests Angelique Kidjo, Common and Ambrose Akinmusire, draws its material from the tropical city's boastful cosmopolitanism, urgent inspiration and giant spirit, straddling the worlds of African jazz, soul and pop with a newfound ease and voice that Vogue Magazine calls "powerful."

Born in Illinois to immigrants from Rwanda and Uganga, African and Jazz legacies are crucial to Somi's sound. Referred to as a modern-day Miriam Makeba, JazzTimes magazine describes her performance as "the earthy gutsiness of Nina Simone blended with the fluid vocal beauty of Dianne Reeves," while Billboard remarks that she's "all elegance and awe... utterly captivating." 

In 2013, Somi was invited by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to perform at the United Nations' General Assembly in commemoration of the International Day of Rememberance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  

A TED Senior Fellow, inaugural Association of Performing Arts Presenters Fellow, founder of the non-profit New Africa Live, and a two-time recipient of the Doris Duke Foundation's French-American Jazz Exchange Composers’ Grant, Somi began an exploration of African and Arab jazz traditions alongside French-Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf, while investigating the role of the female voice during the Arab Spring protests. That body of work was premiered at the Kennedy Center’s 2014 Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival. Somi is a 2015 Artist-in-Residence at UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

She is currently working on a jazz opera about the life and legacy of South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba.

 

 

Session 7: Creative Ignition
Wed Mar 18, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
Alec Soth image Alec Soth
Photographer

Alec Soth makes large-scale projects that are as much about dreams and heartache as they are about charting the landscape of Middle America.

Alec Soth is a photographer born and based in Minnesota. He has published several books, including Sleeping by the MississippiNiagara and Broken Manual. The New York Times once wrote that Soth has made a "photographic career out of finding chemistry with strangers." His editorial work routinely appears in The New York Times Magazine, he is a member of the Magnum photo agency, and his work was featured in the Whitney Biennial in 2004.

In 2008, Soth started his own experimental publishing company, Little Brown Mushroom, that explores the possibilities of combining images and text. After publishing seven issues of his own newspaper, Soth compiled this work into his latest monograph, Songbook.

Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
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Teitur image Teitur
Singer-songwriter

Whether they’re sung in in English or his native Faroese, Teitur laces his deceptively innocent songs with often stinging hooks.

Teitur crafts songs with unexpected lyrical twists portraying everything from awkward love affairs to lost weekends. Although he’s written hits for singers like Seal and Corinne Bailey Rae, the best interpreter for Teitur’s songs is himself: his half-dozen solo albums have won him accolades from the Danish Royal family, the Guardian and fans around the world.

His album Story Music (recorded in a former ice factory) features contributions from legendary Beach Boys arranger Van Dyke Parks and 78 musicians gathered from his native Faroe Islands.

Session 11: Passion and Consequence
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Marco Tempest image Marco Tempest
Techno-illusionist

Marco Tempest is a cyber illusionist, combining magic and technology to produce astonishing illusions.

The Swiss magician began his performing career as a stage magician and manipulator, winning awards and establishing an international reputation. His interest in computer-generated imageryled him to incorporate video and digital technology in his work — and eventually to the development of a new form of contemporary illusion. The expansion of the Internet and social media provided more opportunities for digital illusions and ways of interacting with audiences and creating magically augmented realities. Tempest is a keen advocate of the open source community, working with artists, writers and technologists to create new experiences and research the practical uses of the technology of illusion. He is a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab.

TEDYou
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
8:15 – 9:45
Noy Thrupkaew image Noy Thrupkaew
Global journalist

Noy Thrupkaew reports on human trafficking and the economics of exploitation through the lens of labor rights.

Noy Thrupkaew writes on global issues on a local scale. The focus of her studies (and the subject of her forthcoming book) is human trafficking and the exploitative economic systems and corrupt officials behind it. She is a keen critic of the role of anti-trafficking organizations in the struggle against it, calling for long-range approaches that go beyond mere prohibition.

As an independent journalist, Thrupkaew has written for a wide variety of outlets including The Nation, National Geographic and The New York Times.

Session 11: Passion and Consequence
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
Baratunde Thurston image Baratunde Thurston
Author, comedian

With his timely and hilarious insights, gadfly and technophile Baratunde Thurston offers a way to interpret the world that is palatable and honest.

Public speaker, comedian, and sometime White House advisor, Baratunde Thurston rose to fame with political blog Jack and Jill Politics and as digital director of The Onion. In 2012 his memoir and satirical self-help book How To Be Black became a New York Times best seller promising, “If you don’t buy this book, you’re a racist.” 

He later co-founded Cultivated Wit, a firm that builds community, digital projects, and media combining humor and technology. The company does this through its Comedy Hack Day event series and by providing storytelling services for media clients and progressive social causes. Baratunde is a director’s fellow at the MIT Media Lab, columnist for Fast Company and has more than 30 years’ experience being black.

Session 12: Endgame
Fri Mar 20, 2015
9:30 – 12:00
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Chris Urmson image Chris Urmson
Roboticist

Chris Umson is the Director of Self-Driving Cars at Google[x].

Since 2009, Chris Urmson has headed up Google’s self-driving car program. So far, the team’s vehicles have driven over three quarters of a million miles. While early models included a driverless Prius that TEDsters got to test- ... um, -not-drive in 2011, more and more the team is building vehicles from the ground up, custom-made to go driverless.

Prior to joining Google, Umson was on the faculty of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where his research focused on motion planning and perception for robotic vehicles. During his time at Carnegie Mellon, he served as Director of Technology for the team that won the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge.

Session 3: Machines That Learn
Tues Mar 17, 2015
11:00 – 12:45
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Anand Varma image Anand Varma
Photographer

Anand Varma's photos tell the story behind the science on everything from primate behavior and hummingbird biomechanics to amphibian disease and forest ecology.

Anand Varma is a freelance photographer and videographer who started photographing natural history subjects while studying biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He spent several years assisting David Liittschwager before receiving a National Geographic Young Explorer grant to document the wetlands of Patagonia.

Varma has since become a regular contributor to National Geographic. His first feature story, called “Mindsuckers,” was published on the November 2014 cover of the magazine. This incredible look at parasites won Varma the World Press Photo's first prize in the nature category in 2015. 

Session 8: Pop-Up Magazine
Wed Mar 18, 2015
5:00 – 6:45
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Lucianne Walkowicz image Lucianne Walkowicz
Stellar astronomer

Lucianne Walkowicz works on NASA's Kepler mission, studying starspots and "the tempestuous tantrums of stellar flares."

Lucianne Walkowicz is an Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. She studies stellar magnetic activity and how stars influence a planet's suitability as a host for alien life. She is also an artist and works in a variety of media, from oil paint to sound. She got her taste for astronomy as an undergrad at Johns Hopkins, testing detectors for the Hubble Space Telescope’s new camera (installed in 2002). She also learned to love the dark stellar denizens of our galaxy, the red dwarfs, which became the topic of her PhD dissertation at University of Washington. Nowadays, she works on NASA’s Kepler mission, studying starspots and the tempestuous tantrums of stellar flares to understand stellar magnetic fields. She is particularly interested in how the high energy radiation from stars influences the habitability of planets around alien suns. Lucianne is also a leader in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, a new project that will scan the sky every night for 10 years to create a huge cosmic movie of our Universe.

TED Fellows Talks Session 1
Mon Mar 16, 2015
12:30 – 2:15
Steven Wise image Steven Wise
Animal rights lawyer

By challenging long-held legal notions of “personhood”, Steven Wise seeks to grant cognitively advanced animals access to a full spectrum of fundamental rights.

Using a long-term litigation campaign based on existing habeas corpus law, Steven Wise and the Nonhuman Rights Project are redefining the playing field for animal rights law. While the high-profile New York lawsuits Wise has initiated on behalf of captive chimpanzees have yet to bear fruit, they’re only the first stage of a strategy that is changing the conversation about animal rights.

Wise’s work with the Nonhuman Rights Project is the subject of Unlocking the Cage, a forthcoming film by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker.

Session 6: Radical Reframe
Wed Mar 18, 2015
8:30 – 10:15
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Dustin Yellin image Dustin Yellin
Sculptor

Acclaimed for his monumental “sculptural paintings,” Dustin Yellin now nurtures voices in the art community with Pioneer Works, his mammoth Brooklyn art center.

Dustin Yellin’s mesmerizing glass sculptures explode collage into three dimensional forms, and have won him accolades from all over the art world. From early works of layered resin, Yellin’s sculptures increased in size (and weight), culminating in the 12-ton, three-paneled The Triptych.

But Yellin’s most ambitious project may be Pioneer Works, a colossal, 27,000-square-foot artist’s complex and foundation in Red Hook, Brooklyn. With its residencies, workshops and on-site science lab, Pioneer Works cultivates cross-disciplinary experimentation regardless of profit potential.

Session 10: Building From Scratch
Thurs Mar 19, 2015
2:15 – 4:00